Maine Revised Statutes

§6071. Importing of certain marine organisms

1. Live importing for introduction into coastal waters.  Except for Atlantic salmon imported by the commissioner, it is unlawful to import for introduction, possess for purposes of introduction or introduce into coastal waters a live marine organism without a permit issued by the commissioner pursuant to subsection 2.
[ 2009, c. 561, §4 (AMD) .]
2. Permits and regulations on importing for introduction.  The commissioner may grant a permit to import for introduction, possess for purposes of introduction or introduce to the coastal waters a live marine organism if the introduction, importation or possession will not endanger the indigenous marine life or its environment. Prior to granting a permit to introduce a nonindigenous organism, that has not been previously introduced under a permit, the commissioner shall hold a hearing. The commissioner may adopt or amend rules governing the importing and introduction of organisms to the coastal waters and the issuing of permits, to the extent required to prevent the introduction of bacteria, fungus, virus or any other infectious or contagious disease or parasite, predator or other organism that may be dangerous to indigenous marine life or its environment.
[ 1997, c. 153, §1 (AMD) .]
2-A. Restricting importation of organism.  The commissioner may adopt rules under which the commissioner may restrict the importation of a marine organism from a particular location when the commissioner determines that an organism from that location is or may be diseased or infected in any manner. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A.
[ 1997, c. 153, §1 (NEW) .]
3. Organism and products embargoed and condemned.  The commissioner or the commissioner's agent may indefinitely embargo, condemn or order to be destroyed a marine organism or marine organism product either indigenous or imported if:
A. The organism or product is introduced to coastal waters in violation of this section and the commissioner determines that the organism or product is of unsound quality, contains any filthy, decomposed or putrid substance, may be poisonous or deleterious to health or is otherwise unsafe; [1997, c. 153, §1 (NEW).]
B. The organism or product is intended for introduction to coastal waters and the commissioner determines the organism or product is diseased or otherwise in a condition that if introduced to coastal waters could endanger indigenous marine life or its environment; or [1997, c. 153, §1 (NEW).]
C. Handling of the organism or product could result in the introduction of that organism or product to the coastal waters and the commissioner determines the organism or product is diseased or otherwise in a condition that if introduced to coastal waters could endanger indigenous marine life or its environment. [1997, c. 153, §1 (NEW).]
The commissioner shall cooperate with those state and federal agencies having similar responsibility in the protection of public health and in enforcing the order to embargo, condemn or destroy.
If any marine organisms or marine organism product is embargoed, condemned or ordered destroyed, the commissioner or the commissioner's agent shall, as soon as practical, notify the owner in writing of the amount and kind of marine organisms or marine organism product embargoed, condemned or destroyed.
[ 1997, c. 153, §1 (AMD) .]
4. Salmon imports prohibited.  Except as provided in this subsection it is unlawful to import for introduction into any waters of the State any Atlantic salmon, live or as eggs, that originate in any Icelandic or European territorial waters or any other species of salmon, exclusive of rainbow trout, originating west of the North America continental divide. The commissioner may grant an exemption from the provisions of this subsection for a term not to exceed 2 years, renewable upon application, for legitimate aquacultural projects.
[ 2007, c. 240, Pt. QQ, §3 (AMD) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1977, c. 661, §5 (NEW). 1989, c. 205, §1 (AMD). 1991, c. 381, §2 (AMD). 1991, c. 390, §1 (AMD). 1993, c. 562, §1 (AMD). 1995, c. 406, §§4,5 (AMD). 1997, c. 153, §1 (AMD). 1999, c. 401, §BB3 (AMD). 2007, c. 240, Pt. QQ, §3 (AMD). 2007, c. 695, Pt. C, §2 (AMD). 2009, c. 561, §4 (AMD).